Honestly, my Tiddles after a late night could certainly give Jack the Lass a run for her money in the contest for Drama Queen of the Year award. The mistake was, of course, mine – he was tired because, instead of me insisting on an early night last night where he’s been so unwell and just returned to school, I went and got engrossed in the story I was telling them. It was a Michael Morpurgo retelling of the story of King Arthur, the book Tiddles had chosen with his World Book Day token. And by the time I looked at the clock, it was half past seven!
And so, tonight, we had the customary tantrum… though this time with a little added interest. He decided he was going to kill himself. He was going to do this by breaking his big toe. I didn’t enlighten him as to the fact that this, as a form of suicide, was not going to be particularly efficient.. especially as he started to cry when, in the attempt, he accidentally put his bare foot against the hot radiator and burnt it. I left him to it and went to get some tea, seeing as they’d all eaten except me and I was ready for a snooze on the sofa. He’s just come in to say sorry and ask if he can go to bed… toe still miraculously intact. The reason for his paddy? Well, I had given them half an hour to pick their dirty clothes (just today’s worth – and for a reward of 25p each for a spotless bedroom as a result) up off the floor and put them in the wash basket before having their tea in front of the TV programme about the life of Robert Louis Stevenson. And yes, you’ve guessed it.. picking up two pairs of trousers, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks and two T-shirts and jumpers took them forty-five minutes and I wouldn’t let them watch TV as a result.
It was an interesting end to a rather lovely day. From swimming this morning we went on to church where I was playing the organ for the communion service. Tiddles was delighted to be centre of attention as everyone knew he’d been proper poorly and wanted to know he was OK. He was able to collect his Mothers’ Day card that he’d made for me, too – an interesting design made with lentils, with a gorgeous photo of him in the centre. Smudgelet had already delivered his to me – an even more gorgeous photo because he was wearing the blue shirt that makes his eyes sparkle like diamonds.
The service was interesting because the minister has managed to go down with the same virus as Tiddles had. He was proper poorly too, but had turned up to take the communion service regardless. Poor man could hardly stand or speak, so the liturgy was all said communally and the sermon was about one paragraph long (but possibly all the more effective as a result!).
I then talked with my friend M about the Local Arrangement service in two weeks’ time, seeing as I’d missed the planning meeting. These services are led by members of the congregation and are not to include a sermon, nor are Local Preachers allowed to lead them. So it generally falls to M and me. This time there’d been a plan to get more people involved, with volunteers sought to put forward ideas for the content of the service or to do readings etc. Hmmm… I am a little perturbed to discover they have until next week to make suggestions (of which very few have arrived so far, apart from one poem and two hymns) and then it will be up to Martin and me to build a service around them by the following Sunday. Interesting!
I picked up Dad and we went out for the afternoon, taking him to Shanklin to visit his friend who’s been moved from the hospital to a nursing home for a fortnight. We called in at a garden centre for lunch en route… only to discover the rest of the Island had had the same idea!!!! Rather a longer wait than anticipated. Dad was going to treat us, as thanks for taking him, but discovered that he’d forgotten his wallet and they didn’t accept cards, so it was lucky I’d taken my purse, especially as there were some bits and pieces he decided he needed from the garden centre. Funny that! Trouble was, I forgot that I had planned to keep a few pounds by to get some icecreams in the afternoon.
But the afternoon was delightful despite being icecreamless (such a frustration on the one day in Lent I can have it!). We went down on the beach at Shanklin – our first beach visit this year. The sand was pristine – newly raked in anticipation of the new season which begins next weekend. The sun shone down on us, the waves lapped the shore, the beach was busy enough to feel summery but clear enough for us to have one whole section to ourselves for most of the afternoon. Smudgelet flew his kite. Hmm.. maybe better rephrase that. Smudgelet ran across the beach dragging his kite behind him. Tiddles has been reading “Holes” at school and decided to pretend to be Zero digging a hole in the desert. And mummy found a clean and comfortable concrete breakwater and decided to laze the afternoon away horizontally, talking to God, watching her two boys engrossed in play, and revelling in the glories of God’s wonderful creation free of charge.
What a shame we have to go to school tomorrow.